Internal Affairs Agent

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LEGAL

Ia consultant.png
Internal Affairs

Superiors: Magistrate
Difficulty: Medium
Guides: Standard Operating Procedure, Departmental Standard Operating Procedure, Legal Standard Operating Procedure, Guide to Paperwork, Guide to Faxes, Space Law
Access: Internal Affairs Office, Brig, Medbay, Science, Cargo, Engineering
Duties: Check that departments are following their job SOP and Space Law

Legal Department



Overview

An Internal Affairs Agent's (alias Human Resource Agent) job is to identify any violations of Standard Operating Procedure or Space Law within the station's departments, then report those violations to the correct authority. SOP violations should be reported to the Head of Staff for the relevant department, and Space Law violations to Security. IAA is a roleplay oriented job, and it requires that you either know SOP & Space Law well, or that you are willing to look it up often while playing. You are effectively much like a safety inspector - you do inspections of station departments and report your findings to their supervisors, as well as investigating matters that people report to you.

Etiquette

You're expected to be an impartial auditor, investigator, arbitrator, and unbiased source of good information for the department heads. This being said, let's go through what should be known and done:

Do

  • Peeping Tom: Walk around the station, observing what the rest of the crew are doing, and noting any violations of their job SOP or Space Law that you see. Report any SOP violations to the head of that department, preferably via PDA. Report any Space Law violations to Security, preferably over security radio. Part of this observation is directly watching what other employees are doing, and part of it is asking people if there are any issues in their department. Often, they'll inform you about an issue if you ask, even though they'd never actually report this issue had you not asked.
  • Watch Security: Double-check that security is complying with Space Law and Legal Standard Operating Procedure. This means double-checking every sentence (both timed and perma) that security gives to prisoners, and verifying that they got the timer right. It also means making sure they don't violate it in other ways, such as harmbatoning prisoners. Bad behaviour by Security should be reported to the HOS. If they are not available, or do not listen, contact the Magistrate or the Captain.
  • Mind The Ruckus: Respond to any calls for an IAA over PDA, general radio, etc. Usually these are from prisoners who feel they have been mistreated, or people who wish to report a SOP/law violation you should probably investigate.
  • Remind Yourself Of Your Stay: Remember that you're here to serve NT's interests, NOT to dogmatically enforce SOP even during emergency situations where it makes no sense to do so.
  • Present Yourself Available: Remember that you're here to HELP the various department heads, but since you're not in their department, they will regularly forget you exist. So, it is helpful to remind them, via a quick message, early on, that if there is any matter that they'd like help investigating (e.g: member of their department ignoring SOP) that you are available and they should feel free to call on you.

Don't

  • Just Wait In Your Office: There is always something you can do if you get out there and explore the station. You can always just start going through departments and verifying that they are complying with SOP (or have good reasons to not be doing so). You can always offer your help to heads with troubleshooting problems in their department. There are times (interviewing people, checking records, etc) where you need to be in your office, but you don't need to be in your office most of the time, and you shouldn't be spending most of the shift just sitting there.
  • Threaten: Never threaten other crew members. This includes threats to report them, or get them fired. Threats are never helpful.
  • Validhunt: You are not a sec officer, and should not be patrolling maintenance or otherwise trying to find antags. Instead, you should be concerned mostly with minor SOP breaches and unintentional space law violations by the normal crew within their departments. Your concern is being helpful to the department heads by reporting these issues to them, so that the departments can be better managed.
  • Take Sides: Your job is to represent the best interests of Nanotrasen. DO NOT always take the side of a prisoner - you are NOT their defence lawyer. DO NOT always take the side of security either, as security is perfectly capable of being wrong. Always consider what is in NT's best interests.
  • Display Bias: Avoid investigating matters concerning any personal friends of yours, if at all possible. Refer these matters to someone else, who can conduct an independent and unbiased investigation. A biased investigation can be worse than no investigation at all.
  • Fax Your Ass to Central Command: You will likely be job-banned completely from IAA if you do this. IAAs are expected to take the job more seriously than this.
  • Fax Central Command Over Trivial Matters: If a sec officer harmbatons a prisoner, the HOS is expected to deal with that. CC does NOT need to be informed. Your fax machine is a last resort, to be used only in the event of major problems that the heads cannot or will not deal with.

Scenarios

How To React If A Department Head Ignores You

For example: you're in medical, and you notice that corpses are laying around, not properly bagged. You should PDA the CMO to inform them that SOP is being ignored, that corpses are laying around, not properly bagged. You suggest a corrective action: CMO to talk to the coroner / MDs about this. Give it a few minutes for the CMO to act on your feedback, after which you re-check whether the problem has been corrected, or not. If not, you PDA the CMO again. If the CMO is ignoring you, or brushes you off, you can decide whether you think the CMO is failing to manage medbay properly. If they aren't (CMO is busy, or medical is overwhelmed) then it may be a good idea to let the matter rest for now, and check back later. If, on the other hand, you feel the CMO is neglecting to manage their department properly, at that point, you should contact the Captain AND (if there is one) the NT Rep.

The Absolute Last Resort: Faxing Central Command

Faxing CC is the absolute last resort. It is the nuclear option. There are only two situations where you should be faxing CC:

  • It's an extreme emergency and command has failed to notify CC themselves. For example, a blob has eaten half the station but command is still refusing to request an ERT or otherwise inform CC. In this sort of situation, it is justifiable for you to ignore command and fax CC directly, because there's a high chance that the whole station will be lost if CC does not intervene.
  • There is a serious matter involving the Captain themselves (e.g: they're violating Space Law, or breaking SOP without adequate reason), and neither the NT Rep nor the Magistrate is present to inform CC, so the task falls to you.

Notably, issues with anyone other than the Captain or Magistrate don't generally merit a CC fax. Issues with anyone else are expected to be solved by the relevant department head, or, if they fail, the Captain. It is only when there is a failure all the way up the chain of command - the original person, their department head AND the Captain themselves - that you should be faxing CC. Essentially, faxing CC because of someone's conduct is the absolute last resort, used only when the local chain of command has been given the chance to deal with the situation and utterly failed to do so at every level.
For further information about faxing Central Command, along with faxing in general, refer to Guide to Faxes.

More Example Scenarios

  • Is there no food? Inform the HOP.
  • Is cargo still waiting for those research disks? Contact the RD and ask what their status is.
  • Are there strange floorpills everywhere? Ask the detective to scan them (drug distribution is illegal). Also ask the CMO to check what their chemists are doing.
  • Is the Roboticist unable to complete their goal because nobody has the resources yet? Check what is going on with mining, then inform the QM and HOP.

Meet Your Legal Team

Working with the NT Representative

The NTR primarily handles command-level issues, typically SOP compliance issues. That means department heads, or the Captain, breaking SOP without good cause. If you find a case of a department head breaking SOP without good cause, and there is an NTR, it is a good idea to report the issue to both the Captain AND the NTR. However, if you find a case of the Captain breaking SOP, it is a good idea to report the issue to the NTR, and defer to them about whether or not CentCom should be contacted. If the NTR finds a case of a non-command-member breaking SOP, they may refer the matter to you for investigation. This is more likely if you've said hello to them early in the shift and reminded them that you exist and are keen on doing your job.

Working with the Magistrate

First and foremost, the Magistrate is your main supervisor. Treat them that way. Follow any instructions they give. With that being said, the Magistrate is concerned only with Space Law, not SOP, while you will spend most of your time doing vice versa. So, the Magistrate is unlikely to interact with you much. The most common time you'll need to interact with the Magistrate is if Security is violating Space Law, you've contacted the HOS, and the HOS is not dealing with the issue adequately. In this situation, you can and should turn to the Magistrate and/or Captain for advice. You should also contact the Magistrate if you learn of the Captain violating Space Law.

Procedure Radio

Generally, you should do what's natural to you, given that you know what to do. If you don't, don't let that riddle you, because the Procedure radio is here for you. The "Procedure" radio channel is a special channel used by the IAA, NT Rep, Magistrate and Captain to address SOP and other oversight issues, accessible using the "x" key (ie: "say :x messagehere"). If you are not sure what to do about a SOP or Space Law matter, the procedure channel is a great place to ask for advice. It is also a great place to give status updates about what you're doing. Brief status updates like "Looking into reports that Genetics is handing out x-ray to everyone" are great, because they may draw the attention of higher-ups (like the Captain) and get issues resolved faster. It also helps remind everyone that you exist, and are useful, which increases the chance of you getting more opportunities in future. Finally, it ensures that even if you meet an unfortunate accident in the course of an investigation, that people have some idea of where you were and what you were looking into when you disappeared.

Proper Documentation

Before reporting a violation, it is a good idea to make sure you have all the relevant facts. For example:

  • Who did it
  • What they did
  • Which exact point of Space Law or SOP they violated (including the exact number, you should be able to cite it by number)
  • Where they did it (if you can find out)
  • Why they did it (SOP can be justifiably broken in emergencies, hence the 'why' bit is very helpful in figuring out if they had good cause)

FAQs

  • How do I check a department is following SOP correctly? Pull up the wiki SOP page for that department's jobs, then check, for each item, whether or not it is being done. E.g. if the SOP for Medical Doctor requires they put biomass in the cloner, set up the cryo tubes, and label corpses, check that these things are being done. Then report any that are NOT done to their boss (the CMO).
  • What are the limits on what an IAA can do? IAAs cannot act against NT's interests. So, they can't demand SOP be followed even if doing so would be against NT's interests, e.g. during a major emergency. They are not allowed to do anyone else's job for them. So, they can't pursue an investigation into a member of the command staff against the wishes of the NT Rep (since that would be doing the NT Rep's job for them). They are not allowed to violate Space Law in any way. They cannot, in short, be detrimental to either the station or to NT overall.
  • What happens if an IAA abuses their authority? IAAs who are acting against the interests of NT can be demoted by the Magistrate, or Captain. IAAs who break Space Law can additionally be arrested and brigged by Security. Admins hold IAA to a higher standard than most jobs, which means that an IAA who acts against NT's interests (e.g: seriously breaking Space Law) is likely to be banned from playing IAA.
  • Can command/sec ignore the IAA? In theory yes, but this should only be done if the IAA is (through their own lack of knowledge) demanding attention for a relatively small issue at a time when command/sec is busy dealing with a far more important matter. In that situation, the IAA should be told that sec/command is busy dealing with an emergency (and what the emergency is). Once they've been informed, they can be ignored until the emergency is over, at which point command/sec should come back and address the matter they raised. If an IAA refuses to stop demanding attention, even after they've already been told that command/sec is busy with a far more important matter, then you should carefully consider whether they're right, or they're being unreasonable... and potentially acting against the interests of NT by distracting command/sec during a major emergency.

Infernal Affairs Swordred.gif

Round-Start antagonists other than Blob are ineligible to be be matched to the job of Internal Affairs Agent.

Note that if you are selected as antag, but your character's job preferences are set such that the round is unable to match you to any available non-mindshielded job, you will be instead be returned to the lobby, and the antag role will be assigned to another player.

As a mindshielded crew member, you cannot be converted into an antagonist through thralling, unless you have lost your mindshield implant, either to cloning or surgical removal. If, however, you are somehow unshielded, thralled, and then re-implanted with a mindshield, you will remain thralled.

Roleplaying Tips

  • Remember, your goal is to be helpful, specifically, helpful to the command staff.
  • This means you should have a generally pleasant attitude. Rude, annoying, etc people aren't listened to, or informed about problems.
  • It also means that you should be visible. Since you are not command staff, people might forget you exist. So, remind them by saying you'll be checking up on departments at the start of the round. PDA heads of department specifically about issues in their department. Reach out to people. If you're helpful, they will appreciate it.
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